Everything We Learned From WWE 2K23's Universe Mode and WarGames
All week, I’ve been sharing details from my virtual visit with Visual Concepts, breaking down some of WWE 2K23’s newest and most prominent features. On Tuesday, I showcased everything gamers could expect from MyGM and 2K’s creation suite. And on Wednesday, we discussed some of the most significant changes to MyRise and MyFaction. Today, we will discuss the highly anticipated WarGames match and everything we know about Universe Mode.
For those unfamiliar with Universe mode, you essentially get to be Vince McMahon and create your perfect wrestling federation and storylines. New to this year’s game, however, is a reward system that will come in handy as you progress from one rivalry to another. As your wrestler starts to win, you’ll gain momentum resources to use later. You can then spend those resources in a number of ways. For example, you can choose whether or not you want your wrestler to attack an upcoming opponent pre-match with a chair or after the bell. You can also shake their hand, among lots of other options. All of this is done using the momentum resources you earned throughout Universe mode. Best of all, you can decide how rivalries end and what happens next in the storyline. Ending a rivalry on a positive note will likely skyrocket your wrestler up the ladder.
Additionally, the entire catalog of cutscenes is now available in Universe Mode. So, if you wanted to recreate The Bloodline story or start one of your own, you can — even down to the very last cutscene. Furthermore, the developers say you will have complete control over the entire WWE Universe. But don’t fret, for those who want to freestyle through Universe mode and choose every action without worrying about building up momentum, you can.
Developer Q&A On Universe Mode
Question: “Are there any possible negative outcomes to choosing rival actions, or do all these actions stand to benefit the player?
Answer: “If you’re playing the match without the free mode on when you’re spending momentum stuff, basically, you’re going to go against a viable superstar, and he’s going to have his own rival action. So depending on who has momentum, it’s going to pick which one they choose. Usually, you pick the ones that are beneficial for you. So you say I’m going to attack my opponent with a chair. But if I’m going against a guy that picked his own version, there would be a contested action, and based on who had the most momentum, that would be the one that gets selected. So I might not win. It may pick his action, which he may attack me with the chair and injure me before our match.”
Without question, the feature the WWE 2K23‘s developers were most excited to discuss in this year’s game was the newest match type, WarGames. For those who don’t know, WarGames is two rings side by side, enclosed by one giant cage. There’s even a trench in the middle that can cause destruction. Matches can be anywhere from 3-on-3 to 4-on-4, and if you haven’t ever watched a WarGames match, I recommend you do so. Because if history has told us anything, it’s that these matches are violent. And I plan on this being the first match I do when WWE 2K23 drops on March 17.
I could sit here and talk more about WarGames, but 2K23’s developers did a much better job of getting me excited about it:
“There have been a lot of new match types in this franchise throughout the years, and I have to say, hands down WarGames is the best new match type that has ever been introduced in this game.”
Developer Q&A On War Games
Question: “What features are you most excited about in WWE 2K23?”
Answer: “It’s always WarGames! I’m one of these old-time fans that have been wanting this match because I love my WCW stuff. I’ve played it a few times now, and it is always a blast. There’s a special application that, if you’ve done your work in Showcase, it makes WarGames even better…but, yeah, I’m super stoked for WarGames. It’s a long time coming. I’m happy for the old-school fans, the NXT fans. We all get the match that we wanted for a long, long time.”
The developers then discussed how awesome it was to see the entire team come together like Voltron to help define this match. But there was still more for the developers to gush over for this year’s most-anticipated new match type.
Question: “A big feature coming to the series this year is WarGames. A double-sized cage, two rings, and up to eight character models interacting at the same time, there’s a lot going on there. How hard was it to put this match type into the game, and how long have you been working on it?”
Answer: “Realistically, we started on 2K22 with the idea of navigation and breaking away from the constraints of one ring. And that was creating the backstage brawl area. For 2K22, If you look at that platform that is kinda in the middle of the map, you’re like, okay, that’s pretty much the same size of the ring — without ropes, without that, so, being able to walk up on there, bring weapons on top of that, kind of gave us the confidence and the systems to even think about WarGames. It didn’t mean we solved all the problems, but we built systems and changed things that were, in previous years, not even possible for us to support.
As a kid, I remember anxiously waiting for the latest wrestling video game to release every year. I played WWF WrestleMania on Sega Genesis, but the truth is my love started with WWF War Zone. This would then eventually snowball into the Smackdown series, to 2K, and so on. But as I got older, some of that love started to fade. Well, I can tell you it’s back after learning about all the new changes to the MyGM, MyRise, MyFaction, and Universe modes.
Being able to pick and choose what cutscenes you want to use is a game-changer for me. And let’s not forget the highly anticipated WarGames match. With all the new features and game modes to unravel, I can confidently say I’m ready to play WWE 2K23.